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Pointless High Stakes Testing is Overwelming Public Schools — Study

Anyone who has taught in public schools knows the current testing regime is a joke. Instead educating students, teachers and administrators are dropping standard curriculum for a curriculum of test practicing and "teaching to the test." The testing scam grows out of a right-wing scheme to lock down public schools, enrich test developers, use test results to intimidate and punish teachers, drive out the arts and "multiculturalism" and smother curriculum that exposes America's founding fathers as the supremacists they were. The ultimate goal is to move students away from thinking independently toward simply being a non-thinking cog in the military-industrial-corporate machine.—Ronald David Jackson

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Photo by Alberto G.
Photo by Alberto G.

Study Says Standardized Testing is Overwhelming Nation’s Public Schools

By Lyndsey Layton
The number of standardized tests U.S. public school students take has exploded in the past decade, with most schools requiring too many tests of dubious value, according to the first comprehensive survey of the nation’s largest school districts.

A typical student takes 112 mandated standardized tests between pre-kindergarten classes and 12th grade, a new Council of the Great City Schools study found. By contrast, most countries that outperform the U.S. on international exams test students three times during their school careers.

In a video posted to Facebook by the White House on Saturday, President Obama pledged to take steps to reduce testing overload.

Obama said he believed that in “moderation, smart, strategic tests can help us measure our kids’ progress in school, and it can help them learn. But I also hear from parents who, rightly, worry about too much testing, and from teachers who feel so much pressure to teach to a test that it takes the joy out of teaching and learning, both for them and for the students. I want to fix that.”

The heaviest testing load falls on the nation’s eighth-graders, who spend an average of 25.3 hours during the school year taking standardized tests, uniform exams required of all students in a particular grade or course of study. Testing affects even the youngest students, with the average pre-K class giving 4.1 standardized tests, the report found.

The study analyzed tests given in 66 urban districts in the 2014-2015 school year. It did not count quizzes or tests created by classroom teachers, and it did not address the amount of time schools devote to test preparation.

It portrays a chock-a-block jumble, where tests have been layered upon tests under mandates from Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and state and local governments, many of which the study argues have questionable value to teachers and students. Testing companies that aggressively market new exams also share the blame, the study said.

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